SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake review

Out now for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is a classic 3D platforming adventure by developer Purple Lamp and publisher THQ Nordic, and one that offers a decent experience even for those who aren’t fans of the franchise. Though it certainly helps if you are…

When SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake was announced, our thoughts first went towards the enduring popularity of the show, which we never thought was going to be around for almost 25 years – yet here we are. We’ve had a bunch of video games as well, and the IP can also be seen in toy stores and theme parks these days. But when The Cosmic Shake was announced to not have a current gen version, we were worried this was going to be something that was stuck in the past. And while in a way that’s true, we certainly had fun with it.

As we’re not people who frequently watch the show or films, we had to wrap our heads around the plot in The Cosmic Shake for a moment. SpongeBob and Patrick grab a couple of magical mermaid tears, and that ends up with all of existence being torn apart as the friends get transported to entirely new and strange environments – called the Wishworlds. And although there’s a change in scenery, The Cosmic Shake still feels very much like SpongeBob thanks to the writing, the character interactions and the jokes – many of them delivered by the actual voice actors from the show.


More importantly, since you can get that vibe from just watching the show, the gameplay that backs it up is actually quite decent as well – though it’s also relatively generic in how you won’t see many mechanics you haven’t seen elsewhere. Some pleasant surprises come from when the game mixes up things a bit though – like when certain levels give you a sideway scroller type of feel. Though not up to that level of quality, surprises like that gave me Crash 4 flashbacks.

Different levels actually feel like different scenarios in the narrative because of things like this, and SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake builds on this by slightly changing up your arsenal of moves to fit them. And while the combat is underwhelming, it’s fun to be able to mix things up – something emphasizing platforming, then some traversal where you’re swinging, and at other times you’re just exploring and opening up new parts of a level.


And while this may not be the most refined action platformer out there, there’s plenty to enjoy, and the ability to replay levels for unlockables adds lasting appeal too – as do some of the gameplay varieties that break the standard platforming mold. Gamers who enjoy cosmetic upgrades will feel right at home here, with some outfits unlocking organically while playing the campaign and others enticing you to go back and find more gold coins and bubbles.

Strip away the SpongeBob SquarePants license and this is a fairly generic 3D platformer, but it’s one that was done well and should be fun to play even if you’re not a big fan of SpongeBob. If you are, then the audiovisual presentation of the narrative through voice acting and cutscenes well delight you and add a lot to the experience.

Score: 7.0/10

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